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Georgia’s New Parliament Endorsed by CEC
/ 18 Apr.'04 / 16:47
Civil Georgia

Saakashvili’s party has 153 mandates in
235-seat Parliament.

As expected, President Saakashvili’s National Movement-Democrats party secured a majority of the seats in the new Parliament, according to the final results of the March 28th parliamentary elections. The coalition of the New Rights and Industrialist moderate opposition parties could also occupy seats in the legislative body.
The CEC approved the final vote tally from elections on April 18th, which were a partial rerun of the fraudulent November 2, 2003 elections.

According to the final results of the election, the ruling National Movement-Democrats received 66,24% of votes and the Rightist Opposition – New Rights-Industrialists – 7,96%.
The other 10 parties and 4 election blocs, including Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze’s Revival Unity, failed to secure even a single seat in the legislative body, as they received less than 7% of the required votes, garnering the following numbers instead:

Labor Party - 6,01%
Abashidze-backed Revival Union – 3,89%
Freedom (Tavisupleba) Movement – 4,39%
NDP-Traditionalists – 2,55%
Unity – 2,47%

The final vote tally was approved by the 15-member Central Election Committee with an 11 to 2 vote. The two representatives from the Revival Union were against the vote tally, citing mass irregularities during the elections, while the representative from the Labor Party boycotted the CEC session altogether, also citing ballot fraud. The Labor Party intends to appeal to the Supreme Court with the demand to annul the results of the March 28th polls.

CEC approved final vote tally with 11 votes to 2.
The final vote tally does not include results from Adjara’s two districts – Kobuleti and Khulo. The CEC annulled results in these districts and appointed rerun elections for April 18th. However, the CEC gave up plans to hold these elections, blaming lack of cooperation by the Adjarian leadership.  As a result of the election, the ruling National Movement-Democrats party will occupy 135 MP seats, while the Rightist Opposition will have 15 seats, among those 150 MPs that are elected by party lists.

March 28th parliamentary polls were a partial rerun of the disputed November 2nd elections. On November 25th, the Supreme Court annulled the results of the November 2nd parliamentary elections. In contrast to this decision, the election results from the single-mandate constituencies were inexplicably permitted to stand. Hence, the March 28th elections did not affect 75 MPs who were elected in these single-mandate constituencies in the November 2nd elections, who keep their seats as a result.

The remaining ten seats are occupied by the representatives of the Tbilisi-based Abkhazia government-in-exile.

18 of the 75MPs elected in the single-mandate constituencies ('majoritarian' MPs) are the members of the ruling party; the Rightist Opposition has 8 MPs (4 from the New Rights; 4 from Industrialists); the opposition Labor Party - 4 and Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze-backed Revival Union – 6. However, the Revival Union might boycott the new Parliament and refuse to occupy those six seats.

19 of these 'majoritarian' deputies were endorsed by then-ruling President Shevardnadze’s party. It is expected that most of them would be loyal to the new authorities. 20 'majoritarian' MPs were non-partisan, independent candidates.

And so it stands that the ruling party will have 153 seats in the parliament, just four votes shy of the 157 required for the passing of constitutional changes. The biggest opposition faction - the Rightist Opposition will contribute a mere 23 votes.
It is expected that the first session of the new Parliament will be convened on April 21.

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